Blackjack – how to count the cards
In blackjack, there are a lot of strategies and tricks to help you win. However, the only way you can actually swing the odds away from the house and to yourself is through card counting. Card counting is easier said than done. Most people cannot just start memorizing cards right from the very beginning, unless they have some kind of genius ability with numbers. What is needed, then, is a card counting strategy that will help you keep tack of cards. Here are some strategies that can help you do just that.
First of all, it is important to note that card counting does not work with most online casinos. That is because the computer will reshuffle the cards after each hand. On the other hand, a casino will play out a shoe before bringing in new cards.
The most common way of counting cards is to keep track of cards that are good for you versus those that are good for the dealer. For you, the player, high cards are better than low cards. That is because the dealer has to hit on less than 17, which means high cards will bust him or her. In order to keep track of good and bad cards, many people use a technique of assigning a negative point to high cards and a positive point to low cards, with the middle cards being neutral.
Using this method, you keep a running count at the table in your head. The higher the count is, the more the cards are in your favor. This means you can bet more. In order for the casino to not suspect you of counting, you should keep your high and low bets from being too far apart. Dealers are trained to look for players with large betting spreads (the amount between a high and a low bet). If you use this counting method, though, you can actually swing blackjack odds into your favor by about 1%.
In addition to the above method, which is nice, there are other systems and methods that people use. Perhaps you want to keep your overall count, but keep a side count on aces. Or, for instance, you may use what is called an ace-reckoned method. This means that when you do your count, you count the ace as a negative number. If you choose, though, to go with an ace-neutral method, you are going to count aces as zero.
As a rule of thumb, use ace-reckoned strategies if you are in a “shoe” game. That is, if you are in a blackjack game where the cards come from a multi-deck shoe. An ace-neutral method, though, will be better for one or two deck blackjack tables.
Sometimes people keep a side count with their card counts of plus one and minus one. A side count is counting something else separately. Most commonly this is done with aces. Aces are both large and small cards, so they act a little differently in blackjack. Perhaps, then, you keep an overall count with aces neutral, but side count the aces themselves for accuracy.
As you can see, there are a number of card counting techniques for blackjack. Though counting itself is not technically illegal, casinos are on private property and can ask you to leave if they think you are doing it. Practice will make you look natural and will also help you win more money at the tables as long as you stick with your system.
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